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How we can all help tackle air pollution near schools

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a school road sign in the forefront, trees in the backgroudn, the leaves with a yellow tinge suggesting early onset signs of autumn

Today, Thursday 9 May, the Times published a front page headline saying that millions of children attend schools in Britain with dangerous levels of air pollution.

Air pollution and climate change is a prominent issue in our society, which many people feel passionately about and it is something we can all help to address.

What is the government doing?

The government is bringing forward the first Environment Bill for more than 20 years to help leave the environment in a better state than which we found it. The World Health Organisation has already praised our Clean Air Strategy as an example for the rest of the world to follow, which we hope they will. The Strategy includes new targets, new powers for local government, and confirmation that our forthcoming Environment Bill will include primary legislation on air quality.

Already a world-leader when it comes to tackling climate change, we are the first country to introduce long-term legally binding climate targets and cut emissions by more than 40% since 1990 while growing our economy.

We’re also investing over £2.5 billion to support low carbon innovation, taking action on our ambitious objectives in the 25 Year Environment Plan and have asked independent climate experts for advice on a net zero emissions target.

Climate change is part of the national curriculum in both geography and science to ensure young people are equipped with knowledge about this important issue.

What you can do?

We want everyone to do their bit and here are some top tips about how you can contribute to reducing air pollution near your school:

·       Walk to school – not only will this save on emissions but it is also a great way to increase daily exercise. May is National Walking Month so get involved here.

·       Scooting or biking to school is also a good alternative – Monday 3 June will mark the start of Bike to School Week, so there is no better time to get involved.

·       Use the bus or car share to reduce multiplication of emissions.

·       Encourage your school or council to get involved in the School Streets scheme which helps reduce traffic near schools at peak times.

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